The Center Grove boys basketball team already had earned convincing wins against Johnson County foes Franklin and Whiteland this season.
With the county tournament less than two weeks away, the Trojans made another statement Friday night, leading wire to wire in their 66-51 victory at Greenwood.
“I thought we did a nice job defensively pretty much the whole game,” Center Grove coach Zach Hahn said. “We tried to take away tendencies. Greenwood’s a really good team and they’ve got a lot of good players, so for our guys to come in and hold them to 51, which is 10 below their average, I feel pretty good about that.”
Story continues below gallery
Center Grove (9-1) shut the Woodmen down early, scoring the first eight points before the home squad finally broke through with a Max Raker 3-pointer midway through the opening period. Greenwood fell into an 18-8 hole before scoring the final six points of the quarter, getting within four on a Conner Battinau turnaround at the horn.
That momentum didn’t carry over into the second quarter. Spencer Piercefield hit a pair of 3s to stretch the Trojans’ lead to 26-16, and a pair of forceful dunks by Trayce Jackson-Davis on consecutive possessions sent the visitors into the half with a 32-20 edge.
“We asserted ourselves in the middle,” Jackson-Davis said, “and we had open shooters outside, so that really helped.”
Center Grove built its lead to 45-27 on a Ben Nicoson 3 at the 3:17 mark of the third quarter before Greenwood came charging back, cutting the deficit to eight on an Isaiah Drew layup with 4:43 remaining in the game.
That was as close as the Woodmen could get, as the Trojans scored the next eight points to put the game away.
Jackson-Davis proved too much to handle, finishing with 24 points, 12 rebounds, four blocked shots and three assists.
“He got deep on us a lot, and he’s a handful,” Greenwood coach Joe Bradburn said. “He’s a really good player; he’s an NBA-type player. We may see them two more times this season, and we’ve got to figure out how to defend that.”
Spencer Piercefield added 10 points for the Trojans, who got nine different players into the scoring column. The Woodmen got 12 points each from Braydon Kincaid and Eric Moenkhaus, while Raker added 11.
Both teams have a week off before big road games next Friday. Center Grove will be at Carmel, while Greenwood travels to Whiteland.